Recently, you might have noticed that my Instagram feed is surging with more food pictures and with a certain type of food. Maybe you dug a little and noticed the #vegan and #plantbased hashtags. Yes, I’ve been choosing a plant-based diet more so and I’ve done it for about two months. Here’s a few things you need to know and a few things I’d really like you to know if you’re my friend and you care about what I think or feel.
I’m the worst vegan. Monday through Friday I eat a plant-based meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner (except for Friday dinner when I go out with friends). It’s extremely hard for me to eat this way when I go out. For one thing, I share food with friends so I don’t want to dictate what we eat and a majority of people eat meat and cheese. Also in a lot of ways I still love that stuff. It’s hard to go 100 percent. And that’s why I say I’m the worst vegan. Vegans go into it 100 percent driven by reasons of environmental impact, animal cruelty and mental/physical health. I don’t even call myself vegan, with the intense guilt that I’m a complete and utter hypocrite. But I’m happy I’ve done this much.
My main reason for pursuing a plant-based diet was to help the environment in a bigger way. To be honest, recycling, taking shorter showers, picking up trash and whatever else you try to do to help the environment is great, but not enough. Maybe we’re already too late for any of this to matter. But choosing a meatless meal a few times a week helps the environment on a bigger scale. The UN has already told us that climate change is the single most threatening thing to happen to everyone on this planet. With temperatures and sea levels rising we’re seeing severe weather patterns that destroy lives and communities more often. About a quarter of gas emissions (one of the bigger slices of the pie), that contributes to global warming and then creates severe climate change, comes from agriculture, deforestation and other things that deplete the land. So what it takes to get that hamburger patty into a bun and onto your plate is costing the environment in a big way. Yes I’ll still eat a burger and meat in general, but I’m now more conscious of the cost and I’m only willing to eat it once in a while not every other day like I used to.
Health was a big part of it too. From the end of summer well into the holidays, I was starting to feel like shit every time I ate. And not the “wow I’m so bloated, coz I’m so full, coz I ate such good fudz.” No. Like my stomach is bloated and, wow, why am I feeling sharp pains in my stomach? And oh I’m crying and feel like crap for no reason at all when my life is actually pretty freakin amazing. And then there’s the constant heart burn, headaches and constant bathroom runs. Before you ask me why I didn’t get the right creams or medicines it’s because… DUH I’ve actually tried and they DON’T WORK. So I knew I had to change something, so I started with my diet and things started to improve, except for my eczema which is still a mystery…
Just because I eat mostly plant-based meals does not mean I’ll waste even 2 seconds of my time trying to convince you to eat that way too. What I’ve noticed of people who’ve observed my new eating habits is this: They ask about it without actually being interested but instead being judgmental. Or they think I’m going to judge them for eating meat and dairy and that I’ll convince them why they should go vegan. Trust me. I WILL NOT WASTE MY TIME. It’s your life and your body and only you can decide what goes in it. I’ll lead by example and I’m happy to ask questions. BUT…
Don’t ask about it if you’re not actually interested. Because I really don’t need to hear again how you can't live without bacon. Trust me, I know.
If you’re supportive, that actually means a lot to me. If you can be supportive in all this, thank you so much. If you just ask me what I want to eat before saying something like “Oh yeah you can’t eat this stuff.” It’s not that I “can’t” it’s that I “won’t.” Just be mindful not dismissive.
I FEEL GREAT. I've never felt better going mostly plant-based. I'm in a better mood, I'm energetic, my stomach is calm, my pooping is regular (LOL) and I don't get tired or headaches after I eat. I look forward to cooking and experimenting with ingredients more. I refuse to believe a good meal has to have meat, dairy and/or cheese, so I try to make a vegan version of all my favorite foods and it's been a fun challenge.
If you’ve read this far, wow. Thanks so much. I hope it inspires you or you at least learned something about the benefits and reasons of going plant-based. Keep up with my vegan concoctions on Instagram and look out for recipes that I'll post here.